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Follow Friday: 28 May 2010

05.28.10 | Comment?


CATEGORIES conversation starter, follow friday, ideas, non-profit theatre, rabble rousing, social media, theatrical ecosystem

Here’s an extra-large helping of stories to get you through the Memorial Day weekend.

What have we been following at 2amt this week? Storefronts and stories, history and hopes. Recipes and blueprints, restaurants and royalties. Responsibility and sustainability, creativity and reality. Also, if you’ve ever said, “Bring me the head of Travis Bedard,” now you can…

Anne Bogart on telling stories
First, a quote. “For much of my life in the theater I have resisted the comfort and tyranny of stories. But times have changed. I want to say it out loud: We have reached the end of Postmodernism.” Anne Bogart talks about the allure and effect of crafting and telling stories. (2amt readers know that telling stories in any form is one of our favorite things…) One more quote. “Those who can formulate the stories that render the new world understandable will define the experience of those who live in it.”

Devon Smith has ousted you as the mayor of theatre data
If you don’t know what Foursquare is, you might want to read this New York Times article first. And then, you’ll want to read Devon’s post about how theatre companies are currently using–or leveraging the use of–the service. And then, you’ll want to stick around because we’re working on a post with ideas on how best to work with Foursquare…

Kerry Reid on the storefront scene
A lovely distillation of the recent panel on the history of Chicago’s storefront theatre scene, as moderated by our friend, Dan Granata. If you weren’t there, you’ll feel like you were. There may well be a video record of the panel discussion; we’ll be sure to feature it here when it makes its way online…

Nick Keenan deep dishing, Chicago-style
A further analysis of the Chicago storefront scene as inspired by the panel discussion, Nick breaks it down to its component parts. Why? So you can steal the recipe and do it yourself wherever you are. And when you look at it like this, you probably can…

Oracle Theatre and Mortar Theatre on support
With all the talk of dynamic pricing and filthy lucre and all that, here are two novel approaches to finding support. Mortar Theatre has created an “architect” level of sponsorship, while Oracle Theatre has developed a plan whereby they move past being a theatre and become a Public Arts Organization. Their doors are open, there are no ticket prices. They’ve done the math and designed a subscription program for patrons to help support their work. Check them both out, see what you think.

Clay Lord on responsibility
Why does your art exist? More to the point, why should I support your art? If your answer is, “Art doesn’t need a reason to exist,” maybe you should read this post. You can make whatever art you want, but if you want support, if you want audiences, you’re going to have to take their needs and wants into account.

Jenny Millinger & Anthony Runfola on the ease of being green
Your work can be good, cheap & fast, but can you add “sustainable” into the mix? We’re not talking about your specific theatre company’s sustainability, we’re talking about the planet. How does working from a goal of sustainable practices change the design process? Can it lead to more creative use of resources? Check out Childsplay’s second Sustainable Stage Craft Summit, complete with video.

Misha Penton on going your own way
What if the non-profit model isn’t the best one for theatre? Is such a thing possible? Misha Penton takes a look at various ways to break out of the handout routine, how to build community and collaborate with others to combine audiences and resources.

Vivian Ramirez on socializing with media
Or, more to the point, how best to use social media for fundraising. There are so many tools out there for fundraising, and so many new ways to reach people online and connect with them, you can be forgiven for feeling lost. Vivian Ramirez of Socialbrite takes a look at several and how to navigate through them to make them work for you.

Mark McGuinness on getting down to business
What if you sent a group of artists, actors, musicians and poets into a corporate business? Say their mission is to entertain, provoke, inspire, teach and challenge people to experiment with new ways of thinking, acting and communicating. How would the staff respond? What difference would it make to the individuals who took part? And would it have an effect on the bottom line? You might be surprised.

Karen Greco on Enron’s power outage
We can discuss the merits or lack thereof of the play Enron and/or the differences between New York and London audiences till the cows come home. One thing remains. The critics didn’t close Enron, the producers did. And considering the similar response for other new shows currently thriving, it makes you wonder why.

Jacqueline Steager on hacking away
As Jax says, “There’s a big disconnect between how we learn to work in university and what we may be faced with outside.” Sure, you can light a room well when you’ve got every lighting device and toy at your disposal. What do you do in the real world, in a storefront or a black box with three lights, Edison plugs and two lightswitches? Embrace the MacGyver. Hack something together. Get creative.

Carrie L. Kaufman on what is no longer Next
“Artistic director Jason Southerland has left Next Theatre Company amid accusations of plagiarism surrounding Next’s February/March production of Return to Haifa.” Look behind the curtain to see how this happened, and why playwright Margaret Lewis’ adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani’s novella will never be produced again, through no fault of her own. UPDATED to include a link to a posting about the Next Theatre’s official apology.

Nathan Bransford on sentencing
Can you boil your story, your show, your project down to one sentence? You should. Literary agent Nathan Bransford shows you how and tells you why. It’s good advice for writers, but it applies across the board. The more simply you can describe or explain your project, the easier it will be to connect with your community, your patrons, your funders.

Eve Bohakel Lee on the Bard’s town
There is in fact a Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. Very soon, there will also be the Bard’s Town, a restaurant and performing arts venue on that very road. Co-owner Doug Schutte hopes to create something like a year-round Humana Festival, featuring the bards of today.

Adam Hetrick on the new royalty
Some weeks back, the Public Theatre announced plans for restructuring their royalty agreements to better serve and support playwrights. This week, in cooperation with the Dramatists Guild, they’ve announced the details of their new plan. Adam Hetrick of Playbill explains.

Travis Bedard on your face
Because you know you’ve always wanted one, here’s a link to a PDF of the official 2amt Travis Bedard mask. Cut it out, use it for all your closed-circuit camera needs. Or take it with you and take pictures of it on your travels, like the Flat Stanley project. But whatever you do, don’t get it wet, don’t let it out in bright light and don’t feed it after midnight…

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

David J. Loehr

David J. Loehr

Writer / Producer, The Incomparable Radio Theater :: Artist-in-Residence / Producer, Riverrun Theatre Company, Madison, Indiana :: Artistic Director / Editor, 2amt :: Panelist, The Incomparable podcast :: Husband, father, cat owner, cat bed.
David J. Loehr

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